Kali mera!

There is not much new to report this morning. Yesterday Bonna gave a tour of the Sanctuary to Kyra, a graduate student who was newly arrived, and Rick. I tagged along as well. I am always amazed to hear the stories associated with the history of this place.

One of the stories involves Arsinoe (which is pronounced with a long “e” on the end). She was a princess, daughter of King Ptolemy I Solar of Egypt, who was married to Lysimachus, one of the generals who carved up Alexander the Great’s empire after his death. Upon his death, she married her half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos, who had two of her three sons killed. She then sought refuge in the Sanctuary for a year. Later she returned to her birthplace in Egypt, where she married her brother King Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Presumably Arsinoe and Ptolemy supported the construction of a beautiful rotunda, the largest roofed circular space known in the Greek world, although the structure could be earlier, from the time of her marriage to Lysimachus. She was one crafty woman.

A view of the foundation of the Rotunda of Arsinoe from the bottom of the Sacred Way

Underneath the foundation of the Rotunda, archaeologists have discovered the foundation of an earlier building, called the Orthostate Structure. I guess Atlanta is not the first area to have an affinity for demolition and rebuilding.

The tiles above provide a protective cover for part of the foundation of the Orthostate Structure, an earlier building found under the floor of the Rotunda of Arsinoe.

By the way, for all of you who care, a tour of the Sanctuary is approximately 3000 steps for a short person like me.

After lunch I went shopping with Bonna. A trip to the supermarket, the butcher, and the cheese shop is always an adventure. Today I have to return to purchase mezithra cheese, fish, and bread. Since the merchants don’t speak much, if any, Greek – this is far off the beaten track for American tourists – this should be quite an adventure.

I have been making good progress on my statistical work. I have so far managed to replicate the published results of an analysis by Jari Pakkanen, a Finnish archaeologist, of the floor plan of a Greek temple at Stratos. Today I want to obtain similar measurements from some of our buildings to analyze. I also ran his data through an alternative method, and came up with a similar result, a good thing.

More tomorrow.

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